Southern Craters and Galaxies : The Henbury craters in the Northern Territory, Australia, planet Earth, are the scars of an impact over 4,000 years old. When an ancient meteorite fragmented into dozens of pieces, the largest made the 180 meter diameter crater whose weathered walls and floor are lit in the foreground of this southern hemisphere nightscape. The vertical panoramic view follows our magnificent Milky Way galaxy stretching above horizon, its rich central starfields cut by obscuring dust clouds. A glance along the galactic plane also reveals Alpha and Beta Centauri and the stars of the Southern Cross. Captured in the regions spectacular, dark skies, the Small Magellanic Cloud, satellite of the Milky Way, is the bright galaxy to the left. Not the lights of a nearby town, the visible glow on the horizon below it is the Large Magellanic Cloud rising. via NASA
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is Australia’s most famous natural landmark. Created over 600 million years ago, it once sat at the bottom of the sea, but now rises 348m above ground. The monolith is considered a sacred site to the native people of Australia.
Seven new species of spider, including a type of tarantula completely new to science, have been discovered in a Northern Territory national park.
The discoveries were made by a team participating in the Bush Blitz nature program which saw 16 scientists, Indigenous rangers and field assistants, searching the 1.3m hectare Judbarra park for new species.
“The spider team, led by Dr Robert Raven from the Queensland Museum, had had their heads down all day in search of spider holes when luck finally struck and they spotted a promising burrow,” Professor David McInnes, chief executive of Earthwatch, said in a statement.
“Sophie Harrison, a PhD student from the University of Adelaide, started digging and found a tarantula so new and different that it doesn’t fit into any of the existing genus of spider species. It looks just as you’d expect, brown and hairy. But the scientists say it’s beautiful!”